Note to Readers:  Little Hinges has been on hiatus since the start of the new year due to the exhausting level on continuing political insanity.  We are not going away, but definitely slowing down. It takes time to research and digest topics as there are so many, and we are not experts in the political arena, just citizens trying to best understand it all. We hope you’ll stay tuned with our more irregular posting schedule. We appreciate all the past support.  In just 1+ years of posting, we are nearing 4,000 views from 1,675 visitors. We don’t take that for granted and will try to stay cognizant of your loyalty and trust.  In that vein, here is the first post of 2018 …

What is Our Stage of Political Maturity?

We, the people, including those well out of the United States like to anthropomorphize things from living pets to evolving nations.  That fancy word means to give human traits to nonhuman entities.

We know  humans grow from infancy to adolescence, adulthood and emeritus status. Is it possible countries grow and ebb in a similar evolutionary fashion?  As we struggle through the current political environment in the United States it’s interesting to ponder what stage we might be in with our own political maturity.

At just over 240 years old, we know we’re a young country compared to the United Kingdom, Persia/Iran and other more ancient political entities. It’s less clear exactly how young we may be especially since we are the first to emerge as democratic republic.

It’s possible in country years, we are still adolescents. If so, our recent tantrums and fights within the branches of government may be par for the course, just as adolescents buck against their family structures during the turbulent teen years.

If we are in the young adult stage, that might make sense as well. Perhaps like those in their twenties, we are a bit self-centered and still trying to figure out who we are. But, some argue, we may instead be at the late stages of national dementia, forgetting our roots and core beliefs and becoming a sad doddering image of our stronger, younger self.

Unrelated Post: Want to take a rest from politics and read about personal growth cycles instead? Check out

This last theory is in line with a national cycle of evolution put forth by 18th Century Tytler cycleScottish Historian Alexander Tytler, a professor at the University of Edinburg who also studied Greek and Roman Antiquities. Some anti-Obama types in the mid twenty-teens rediscovered him and claimed that we were clearly in Stage 7, of 8 stages of development. Some New Age types on the totally opposite side of political spectrum have now taken up the mantle claiming that with Trump we are in Stage 8.

Tytler appears to be no great believer in democratic ideals. From studying the only prior source, Greece, Tytler decreed that democracy was a utopian ideal … that ‘a pure democracy is a chimera’, and that ‘All government is essentially of the nature of a monarchy’”.

Optimistic folks hold out that unlike ancient societies, our modern democracy will cycle through the damaging and negative end stages of Tytler’s political life cycles to reemerge at Stage One, a time of national spiritual growth and renewed sense of community.  One can only hope. Or one can worry that this theory feels a bit too much like the fundamental religious belief that we must experience the apocalypse in order to reemerge into a new age of divinity.

Pragmatic types like former U.S Attorney Preet Bharara, current host of the WNYC Podcast Stay Tuned, posited a different, optimistic possibility. Bharara noted that the country did not regulate the two term rule for presidents until Franklin Roosevelt defied it. Before Roosevelt precedence was considered strong enough not to require legislation.  Subsequently, after JFK allowed RFK to become the attorney general, Congress regulated against nepotistic appointments to high level positions.  Bharara wonders if now, after Trump has defied so many precedents, if Congress will in subsequent years outlaw not revealing taxes or stronger regulations regarding emolument issues.

I’m staying cautiously optimistic and siding with Preet. This may be a difficult learning curve, but if we learn and change laws as a result, we can emerge in the twenty twenties as a more perfect union.

Possible Little Hinge Action Steps:

  • Try listening or subscribing to Preet Bharara’s Stay Tuned Podcast.
  • Check out web links on Alexander Tytler.  If the link says Tyler it’s not credible.
  • Buy Fire and Fury by Michael Wolf. It is not well written, uses tons of SAT words, but you’ll know what everyone is talking about. And, if you’re anti-Trump it’s an armchair act of resistance. It is 15% off at Barnes & Noble.